Are you ready for some football?! On Friday, the Harvard football team hosts Brown at 7:00 PM in Harvard Stadium for the Crimson’s home opener. To make this a night to remember, even for those of you who would rather do a p-set on a Friday night than go to a football game, FM has compiled a step-by-step guide to Harvard football’s only night game of the year.
The first question is what to wear to the game, and there are a few key factors to consider. The first factor is the damned Cambridge weather. Chances are very good that the game will be wicked cold; whatever your widget tells you the temperature will be, dress for ten degrees colder. You will be remaining relatively still for a few hours, and the concrete stands that your posterior will be resting on during the game start to feel quite icy. The key is dressing in layers, making sure your cranium is covered, and wearing a good pair of gloves. The second thing to keep in mind is that you must have some type of Harvard apparel showing. A Lowell t-shirt underneath a sweatshirt and a winter coat does not count. Get a Harvard beanie or scarf, or wear a Harvard t-shirt or jersey over your jackets. The last thing to consider is if your ensemble matches. You are going to a football game, not a club, damnit. As long as you have some crimson showing and you are prepared for the elements, then you are good to go. For those of you who are either a) insane fans, b) plan on getting extremely hammered, or c) Russian—and therefore think New England winter weather is weak—you are encouraged to paint your chest along with six other insane, drunk, and/or Russian friends to spell out “Harvard.” Remember to use all caps, stand in the right order, and not be fat (nobody wants to see that). You may want to have a UHS appointment scheduled ahead of time for the monster of a cold that will be kicking your ass for the next week.
Ever wonder what the “game” in pregame originally refers to? Instead of a sketchy party at the Delphic, the true “game” is a rowdy football contest. The goal of the pregame, however, remains the same: getting that good buzz going. Skip the girly drinks on game day, and get some Captain in your veins to enhance your performance as a fan. Beer, shots, Jack and Coke, or even Grandpa’s old cough syrup will also allow you to yell for far longer and come up with much cleverer insults for the opposing team (or so you will think), spurring the Harvard troops to victory. And as it does with homework or talking to HUPD, alcohol just makes the games more fun. A dilemma is presented by the question of where this pregame should take place. Traditional pregame activities such as grilling absurd quantities of meat, throwing a football, or playing cornhole (a game similar in concept to horseshoes but played instead with bean bags and two large target boxes with holes. I am not making this up.) are outdoor events that make up what is better known as a tailgate. For Harvard games though, due to a combination of cold weather and student lameness, the only real tailgating activities that occur outside the stadium will be run by crusty alumni and friends. It may be worth trying to mooch some nice booze and grub off of these reminiscing middle-aged men, but your best bet is probably hosting or attending a pregame in someone’s suite on campus. This is especially the case since all but this Friday’s game begin at around noon, and waking up early to go setup a tailgate just goes against everything Harvard students believe in. This Friday’s game and The Game are the two exceptions: the tailgates before these games will be much more fun and definitely worth checking out.
Don’t worry about arriving early to find a seat; you will not have any trouble. Make sure you sit on the side of the stadium with all of the Harvard students, for team unity and also because a lot of the Brown kids probably haven’t showered in a while—just doing their part for the environment. When you find your seats, look around you to establish who you will be high-fiving/chest bumping/excitedly tackling when something good happens. It’s crucial to plan ahead. During a football game, there are certain points where you need to be yelling at the top of your lungs, jumping around, and generally losing your damn mind. These times include the following: on any kickoffs, whenever it is third down for the other team, if we (there is no “Harvard” when you are at the game. You are now part of the team) intercept a pass or recover a fumble, when we score a touchdown, when we make a big play that will secure victory, or when somebody gets the crap knocked out of them. If none of that makes sense to you, don’t worry, the basic rule is if the people around you are going nuts, you should be too. If the referees throw any flags, then you need to yell whatever obscenities you can think of, regardless of whether or not it was a penalty (or even if you have no idea what they called). If the other team happens to score, then it is your duty as a Harvard fan to yell obscenities at the referees for not calling a penalty. If you just get bored, then you should probably yell at the refs.
After the game, find your way back across the river, thaw out, and either drink to celebrate the win or drink to mourn the loss (either way, you will also be drinking to celebrate the invention of the heater). Be sure to relive any exciting, embarrassing, or hilarious moments that occurred either on the field or in the stands. Tune the TV to some of the other college football games going on, and take notes from the state school crazies in order to improve your performance for next week.